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Freelancing from Anywhere: Tips for Living and Working Abroad

Freelancing from Anywhere: Tips for Living and Working Abroad

They say travel broadens the mind. If that’s true, what better activity could a writer undertake? There’s a slight problem with travel, however—it’s expensive. If you plan to stay somewhere a while, you’ll need a steady source of income. Barring a lottery win or trust fund payout, that means you’ll need to find employment. But it isn’t exactly easy finding a job in unfamiliar surroundings, and that’s if you’re legally allowed to work there.

Luckily, we freelancers have a bit of an edge when it comes to work and travel. Since we typically don’t work in brick-and-mortar establishments, we don’t have to worry about leaving our job behind. In fact, we can take our job with us. Here are some tips for freelancers looking to live and work abroad.

Let the Currency Work For You

Depending on where you’re from, your currency could be worth quite a bit when compared to that of other nations. Let this fact work for you. Maintain your home-country clients. Even if you never get a raise from any of them, simply moving to a country that has a currency 30% less valuable than your own is like getting a 30% raise.

 

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Don’t Rely on Physical Storage Drives

Travelling can be hectic. If you plan on being mobile, don’t get too attached to your personal possessions. Items are routinely lost in airports, hotels, and bus stations. For this reason, it’s best not to rely on physical storage drives too heavily. Back up important work files to a cloud-based server on a regular basis so you don’t lose important work.

Keep Your Time Zone in Mind

Nobody likes being woken up in the middle of the night by a business phone call. If you regularly interact with your clients through voice calls or text messages, keep the time difference in mind. If you’re required to complete a project by a specific time and date, work from the assumption that your client doesn’t know you’re currently living it up in the Cayman Islands (or wherever you choose to travel).

Take Advantage of Travel Credit Cards

If your credit is good, travel credit cards offer some significant perks. Frequent flyers can take advantage of reward points that may earn them a discounted fair, for example. Many of the top finance blogs on the web have tips on niche subjects like finding credit cards in Norway, Japan, Germany, or wherever the wind blows you.

Take Advantage of Tax Savings

Again, this depends on your country of origin, but many traveling freelancers can take advantage of huge tax savings by working outside of the country. Everybody’s individual circumstances are different, so it’s best to speak to a financial advisor about your filing options.

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Obviously, there’s a lot that can be said about moving and working abroad. There are many more pieces of advice out there, but this is a good starting point for anyone wanting to get their feet wet.

Remember, the most important thing you can do before hitting the open road is research. Learn everything you can about the country you plan to travel to. Read expat thoughts in blogs and online publications to get a firsthand account of what it’ll be like to live and work abroad. Of course, remember to follow of the laws of the land and thoroughly research the rules for working in whatever country you stay in.

As always, be respectful to the people around you and make an effort to blend into the culture. Who knows? You may never want to go back home. Happy travels!

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View Comment (1)
  • Thanks for these tips ! It’s not always easy to deal with the jetlag though, and sometimes it’s better to say you’re abroad for a while. Better than being woken up at 3am to finish some work… ! I’d also add that if you work abroad but for the country you live in, you’d better get to understand the culture first, as some countries really work differently from what you’re used too.

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